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Statement by H.E. Ambassador Xue Hanqin,Permanent Representative of the People's Republic of China to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, at the Twelfth Session of the Conference of States Parities to the Chemical Weapons Convention

Mr Chairman,

Please allow me, first of all, on behalf of the Chinese delegation, to congratulate you on your election as Chairperson of the current session of the Conference. I am confident that your rich diplomatic experiences and outstanding abilities will surely guide this session to success. The Chinese delegation is ready for full cooperation with you and other delegations. I would also like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for the excellent work done by your predecessor Ambassador Alfonso Dastis from Spain.

Mr Chairman,

Over the past year, deep and profound changes continue to take place in the area of international security. Peace and development remain the theme of our times, and it is an irresistible trend of the time to secure peace, seek development and promote cooperation. At the same time, elements of dissonance and instability still exist, and the intertwining threats to security, both conventional and unconventional, pose a new challenge to the international community. Against this backdrop of the international security situation, it becomes ever more important and urgent to strengthen the multilateral system of arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the entry into force of the Chemical Weapons Convention and the founding of the OPCW. Over the past ten years, the Convention has played an important role in prohibiting, eliminating and preventing proliferation of chemical weapons. Within the framework of the OPCW, dialogue and consultation represent the mainstream and mutual trust among States Parties keeps growing. The OPCW has truly become a platform that carries forward multilateralism, where joint efforts are made for peace. The achievements of the OPCW have been highlighted in the various commemorative events and activities organised by States Parties and the Technical Secretariat through this year.

China has actively involved itself in the tenth anniversary commemorations. It has made a donation of 10,000 US dollars to the OPCW specifically for the commemorative activities, published booklets on China's implementation of the Convention, and has been keenly engaged inside the country in organising activities to further raise awareness of the Convention among implementation personnel, industry and the general public. In addition, China has sent representatives to events organised in places such as The Hague, New York, Berlin, Doha, and Algiers, thereby making a positive contribution to further disseminating the achievements of the Convention and enhancing exchanges among States.

Looking forward, we believe that in any new situation, there should be continued unity between States Parties and the Technical Secretariat and concerted efforts in upholding the authority of the Convention and enhancing its universality and effective implementation. This is important for the safeguarding of global security and stability, and also a common responsibility for all parties.

Mr Chairman,

Now I would like to present some views of the Chinese delegation with regard to the agenda items.

Enhanced universality and national implementation measures are important guarantee for the full and effective implementation of the Convention. We are pleased to note that with the joint efforts of Sates Parties and the Technical Secretariat, there have been significant achievements towards universality and positive progress in putting in place national implementation measures. China supports continued efforts to carry out, by way of cooperation and encouragement, the plans of action for universality and implementation measures.

Speedy and complete destruction of chemical weapons is the central element and core objective of the Convention. China believes that whether all chemical weapons will be destroyed within the timeline prescribed by the Convention will bear on its prestige and credibility. The possessor States should, in strict accordance with the provisions of the Convention and the relevant decisions of the Conference, speed up their destruction and strive for an early completion. We support a greater role by the Technical Secretariat and the Council in overseeing the CW destruction.

Industry verification is an important part of the Convention and a vital tool for non-proliferation. Since the entry into force of the Convention, resources for industry verification have always been allocated according to the principle of facility risk and geographical balance set out by the Convention. This principle has obtained vigorous support from States Parties and ensured the successful conduct of over 1,300 inspections. China maintains that any improvement of the industry verification regime should be effected within the framework of the above-mentioned principle and through learning from the experiences of past inspections, and that the views of States Parties should be taken into full consideration.

Protection and assistance, and international cooperation in the field of chemistry are vital pillars of the Convention. Effective international cooperation will definitely help States Parties improve their CW protection capabilities, promote regular trade among States Parties, and enhance universality of the Convention. China calls on all States Parties to attach due importance to international cooperation, put in more funds and technologies, set out a practical and feasible medium- and long-term development plan, and undertake substantive exchanges and cooperation.

China sets great store by the Second Review Conference to be convened next year. The Second Review Conference should be an occasion, in our view, to build on the practical experiences of past ten years, size up the advances of science and technology in chemistry, and actively explore ways and means to further facilitate full and effective implementation of the Convention. China will take part in its preparations with a positive and constructive attitude.

Mr Chairman,

China has all along supported the object and purpose of the Convention and fulfilled earnestly its obligations under the Convention. We have enacted and continuously refined our implementation laws and regulations, and have established implementation authorities at both central and local levels, which become an implementation system with effective management covering the whole country. China has submitted various declarations in a timely and accurate manner and has received over 140 inspections successfully, with18 inspections in the first ten months of this year. Attaching great importance to non-proliferation, we have developed an export control regulatory system in general conformity with the prevailing international practice, and our enforcement measures are stringent and effective.

The Chinese government has actively facilitated the application of the Convention in the special administrative regions (SAR) of Hong Kong and Macao. Implementation efforts in the Hong Kong SAR are going on smoothly. Preparations for implementation in the Macao SAR are proceeding in an orderly manner. At this session of the Conference, the Chinese delegation also includes delegates from the Hong Kong SAR, who will report to States Parties, under the appropriate agenda item, on the status of implementation in the Hong Kong SAR.

To date, the Japanese abandoned chemical weapons in China still pose a serious threat to the life, safety and ecological environment of the Chinese people. With efforts from both China and Japan, positive progress has been achieved towards the disposal of Japanese ACWs, but substantive destruction has yet to begin. We urge Japan to intensify its efforts and increase its input so as to complete the destruction of all Japanese ACWs at an earlier date. China will, as always, provide all necessary assistance. We appreciate the positive role the Technical Secretariat has played on this issue. As we approach the stage of substantive destruction, we welcome a deeper involvement of the Technical Secretariat in the relevant processes.

Mr Chairman,

Early and complete elimination of all weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, conforms to the common interest of all peoples. China wishes to join efforts with others to make a positive contribution to building a harmonious world with lasting peace and common prosperity.

Thank you, Mr Chairman.

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